All around France, watercolours, oil and gouache paintings rose to fame. Today, follow on the heels of your favourite artists, discover the houses and streets where they lived and explore museums that are devoted to their mastery. For you, Gustave Courbet, Claude Monet, Eugène Delacroix, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Cézanne reveal their secrets.
Let them uncover your hidden talents and the artist in you!
In Eugène Delacroix's last steps
When you think “Delacroix”, Liberty Leading the People immediately comes to mind, but the artist, born in Charenton-Saint-Maurice, created a myriad of masterpieces. Learn more about him at the Delacroix Museum, located on rue Furstenberg in Paris, where the artist actually used to live up to the end of his life in 1863. The studio was saved from destruction by his friends, then turned into a museum and connected to the Louvre. You can discover various paintings by the Romantic artist, such as Mary Magdalen in the Wilderness or Cardinal Richelieu Saying Mass in the Church of the Palais Royal, but also various drawings and objects he brought back from Morocco. Delve into his universe, all the way to the small garden he loved so much.
Finally, you can always continue your pilgrimage on the traces of Delacroix all over Paris. This quest will lead you to the Chapel of Holy Angels in Saint-Sulpice, the walls and ceilings of the National Assembly showcasing Salon of the King, and obviously to the Louvre. This is where you'll find most of his works, not mentioning the fresco on the ceiling of the Apollon gallery.
Musée national Eugène Delacroix
6, rue de Furstenberg
75 006 Paris
+33 (0)1 44 41 86 50
Nature according to Claude Monet: explore his universe
Your Impressionist pilgrimage starts at the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris. As Claude Monet was working on his famous Water Lilies, then President of French Council George Clemenceau suggested they install the large set at the Orangerie. In 1927, a museum named after the artist was opened amid the Tuileries garden. Over 100 linear metres, the artwork ranks among the most monumental creations in the first half of the 20th century. Nowadays, lots of art enthusiasts come to admire its reflections and subtleties.
50 miles away from Paris, you'll find the artist's home and universe in Giverny. With charming pink roughcast render walls and green shutters, the house is surrounded with gardens conceived by the passionate artist himself. Between the Clos Normand and the Water Garden, you'll easily understand where he drew his inspiration from. The Japanese Bridge, The Water Lily Pond, The Path through the Irises... they are all there in front of you, in the flesh. Inside the house, some of his paintings and a wonderful collection of Japanese etchings are exhibited. A journey back in time, when Impressionism was reigning over the art world.
Musée de l'Orangerie
Jardin des Tuileries
Place de la Concorde
+33 (0)1 44 77 80 07
Fondation Claude Monet
84, rue Claude Monet
+33 (0)2 32 51 28 21
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: Albi worthy of a nonstandard artist
Born in a distinguished aristocratic French family, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is a descendant of the Counts of Toulouse. Though he died young at just 37, the artist lived a very full life. A museum has been devoted to his work in Albi, thanks to a massive painting bequest. It thus holds the largest Toulouse-Lautrec collection in the world.
Located in the Palais de la Berbie, the museum exhibits all sorts of paintings: portraits of course, but also pieces inspired by his own experiences in brothels and wild Parisian nights... You can admire the Salon of rue des Moulins, Moulin Rouge: La Goulue, The Toilet, At the Moulin Rouge, The Dance and Le Jeune Routy, among others...
Palais de la Berbie
+33 (0)5 63 49 58 97
Immersion in the city of Paul Cézanne
Cézanne spent his life in Aix-en-Provence, about 40 minutes away from Marseille by car. In spite of long travels far from his homeland, to Paris especially, he always came back, eventually spending his old days listening to cicadas whine. In order to follow in the artist's steps, the city set up a marked walking route that will allow you to discover various places, most representative of the artist who created The Large Bathers, Apples and Oranges and The House with the Cracked Walls.
The first and most important stop is the artist's studio. There, on the hills in Les Lauves, you'll see what models the artist used to create his last still lifes, as well as period furniture and paraphernalia. Anything and everything to plunge you in a lasting atmosphere... Go with the flow up to the Terrain des peintres (Painters' Park), where copies of his most beautiful iterations of Mont Sainte-Victoire have been placed. This chalky mountain range is very emblematic of the region and inspired Cézanne a lot. Finally, head to the Bibemus Quarry and Bastide du Jas de Bouffan, which also triggered the artist's imagination.
In the steps of Cézanne in Provence
Gustave Courbet's homeland
Gustave Courbet was born in the small village of Ornans, halfway between Lyon and Strasbourg in the Doubs department. He is probably one of the most famous French painters, with monumental works of art exhibited all over the world, such as Origin of the World, The Desperate Man or La Bacchante. Inaugurated 6 years after Courbet's death, the museum was set up in his childhood home, and progressively enlarged over time in order to house various exhibitions. In all, you can admire over 200 works during the visit. Paintings obviously, but also sculptures and drawings. Among those: Self-Portrait at Sainte Pelagie, The Oak of Flagey and The Chateau de Chillon.
If you're interested in Courbet's life, you can continue the visit onto the various places that inspired him or affected his work. For instance, the Flagey family farm – 7 miles away from the museum and open for visits, the Loue water spring and even his studio in Ornans.
Musée Gustave Courbet
1, place Robert Fernier
+33 (0)3 81 86 22 88